Hike Difficulty: not too difficult, but a good workout
Hike Length: 5.41 mi
Elevation Gain: 1214 ft
Highest Point: 7333 ft
Time: 1 hr 40 mins
My Rating (out of 5): 4.0 – After reading in my hiking book a little bit, I realized that the first time that I set out for Kettle Lake, I had gotten on the PCT at the wrong trailhead. The mistake was when I was still driving. At Silver Fork Gap, I originally continued down FS 20 instead of heading towards the California border on FS 2025. It really didn’t make much difference apart from the fact that the left that the guidebook was giving us was now supposed to be a right.
Having realized my mistake from last time and wanting a bit of a climb, I decided to return to this section of the PCT to summit Observation Peak and maybe take a dip in Kettle Lake. When I got there, I found that I was less drawn to the lake and more to the top. When I finally got close enough to see my end goal, I ran into some snow on the PCT and had to go off-trail the rest of the way. I found some amazing views on this trip. The best part is that it’s close to home and I could easily backpack in sometime.